Katie Stack hugged her eight-year-old daughter Mikayla on Sunday during the ceremony for Help USA Troops shipping day event, when dozens of volunteers gathered in Wheeling to prepare boxes filled with comfort packages for troops serving their country.
The organization was founded in memory of Stack's husband, James, a U.S. Marine from Arlington Heights who was killed in 2010 while serving in Afghanistan.
"This gives me the realization that although my husband did give the ultimate sacrifice, I still have people supporting walking with me though this heartbreaking journey," Stack said.
Sunday's event marked eighth year the organization has packed boxes with comfort and care supplies for troops. About 100 volunteers participated at AMVETS Post 66 in Wheeling.
The goal was to pack and ship over 700 boxes. They included personal hygiene items, pocket-size food and snacks, candy and gum, powdered drinks and more.
"Everyone coming out to support and give back means the utmost respect to the men and women who serve on a daily basis and to ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice," Stack said.
To find out more about Help USA Troops, visit www.helpusatroops.com.